The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 26th on Proverbs 26:9-12

[If you have been here before, in May, then you might want to skip down below the green for today's post.]

"Thirty days hath September, 
April, June and November
All the rest have 31
Except February which has 28
Except during leap year when it has 29"

NO I DID NOT WRITE THIS "POEM"!  (Talk about free verse!)

Why didn't somebody just point out that the four months that do NOT have 31 days (except February, and everyone knows all about February The Exceptional) come every other month except that there is no 30 day month between July and August?  The silly poem above mixes up the order just to hide the fact that the real 30 day months come in two orderly pairs: April/June and September/November.  Can somebody please write a non-silly poem for us that will make this clear, and stick in our minds, but without gooping them up with exceptions (and please just leave February out of it!)?

And to make matters (far) worse, MILLERWRITES has created a Proverbs Pull-A-Part Plan that decimates that fine collection of wisdom in the book of Proverbs, by spreading commentary on each chapter out over 7 months (the good 31 day months)!  Oh don't ask me to explain his system.  You can try to decipher what he said about it at the top of any P31P posts from January or March if you like, or just follow along this month and figure it out.
All Bible passages are from the NIV, and are copied here from

REMEMBER: My ideas may be oh so mesmerizing, but you will get more benefit from simply reading the chapter itself!

So here I offer my amateur comments on verses 9-12.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are neither       (neither inspired, nor red).


1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool
is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8 Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honor to a fool.

9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 

9) Isn't good imagery a fantastic thing?  This word picture, of a  "thornbush in a drunkard’s hand", is very scary.  And then to compare THAT to what seems so simple, "a proverb in the mouth of a fool" is very telling.  We begin to imagine how hurtful it is to use a proverb carelessly.

10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.

10) Some kids in Wisconsin did this recently.  One shot an arrow and hit a 10 year old girl in the back, and then they ran away pretending nothing happened.  Fortunately, their sin did find them out.  But the point of the proverb is that people are not all the same.  All are equally made, and have the same rights, but not all are equally qualified to perform a specific task.  Discernment (egad, even JUDGEMENT) is necessary before hiring, before honoring, before celebrating, before marrying; indeed before making any personal commitments.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly. 

11) I object strongly (read: scream) when I see my dog do this gross thing!  But to her it's some kind of natural instinct (I guess).  Would that she would interfere (read: bark savagely) when I am about to repeat one of my natural follies!

12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

12) I just heard a message this week about self-confidence.  It is oft promoted, but Mary Whelchel suggests that it is greatly overrated.  We are better off living our lives with "God-confidence" because the self will certainly fail us.

13 A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who answer discreetly.

17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

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